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The Welsh slate region of Gwynedd, an area that is said to have ‘roofed the 19th-century world’ is all set to be nominated as a contender for World Heritage Status. This coveted position granted by UNESCO is also enjoyed by Taj Mahal, Great Barrier Reef, and Machu Picchu. The slate quarry is the bearer of numerous exports of slate throughout the globe which run through the ancient county of Gwynedd. The heritage minister Michael Ellis described the landscape as hugely important and added that it’s vast quarries and mines has shaped the countryside of the region along with the countless buildings across the UK and the world.
A panel of British experts was gathered to assess the landscape of quarries, mines, railways, and villages for the World Heritage Status this summer, and the draft will be formally presented to UNESCO next year. The UK government can put forward one site per the calendar year to be considered for the world heritage site status. The decision will be arrived at as early as 2021. If approved, the landscape will be the fourth world heritage site in Wales, joining ranks with the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the Blaenavon industrial landscape and the 13th century castles built by King Edward I. Apart from these, the UK has 32 other world heritage sites which include Lake District, the Forth Bridge, the Tower of London, Blenheim Palace and the Neolithic monuments in Orkney.
Many consider this a crucial milestone on the road to boost tourism and an investment into the industry. Wales receives around one million overseas tourists a year. A globally recognized status will help not only in highlighting the immense beauty and history that Wales has to offer but also aid in reviving the economy of the slate areas.
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